When I first got out of law school and was clerking for a federal judge in Texas, I did see a few comparable pleadings, though those were usually filed “pro se” — i.e., by the plaintiff himself, without the assistance of a lawyer. One, I remember, was a civil rights suit naming as defendants the President of the United States, all nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, the plaintiff’s ex-wife, and a local Pizza Hut.Ouch.
Like that complaint, Regan’s reads like one of those humor pieces in The New Yorker, where it not-so-gradually dawns on the reader that the narrator is out of his gourd. Even though you’re hearing only one side of the story, that’s enough to make up your mind against the griper.
[W]hat’s remarkable about the complaint is how far it ventures beyond merely disputing that she said anything anti-Semitic in that fateful phone call — a seemingly winnable, he-said-she-said squabble had her lawyers stopped her there.Parloff finds it all manifestly crazy.
Instead, they’ve allowed her to allege that News Corp. had actually been plotting her demise for at least five years before the Simpson debacle. “This smear campaign was necessary to advance News Corp.’s political agenda, which has long centered on protecting Rudy Giuliani’s presidential ambitions,” they write in paragraph 1 of the complaint. “Defendants knew they would be protecting Giuliani if they could preemptively discredit her,” the complaint continues.
As I understand it, Regan’s saying that News Corp. has been undermining her credibility for years because it feared she knew about unspecified skeletons in Giuliani’s closet that she had learned during her 2001 affair with then-Mayor Giuliani’s then-Police Chief Bernard Kerik and, further, that the company anticipated Regan might go public with if Giuliani ever ran for president.
But the Regan lawsuit excites the mind of Frank Rich:
Few know more about Rudy than his perennial boon companion, Mr. Kerik. Perhaps during his romance with Ms. Regan he ... discussed everything Mr. Kerik witnessed at Mr. Giuliani’s side before, during and after 9/11. Perhaps he even explained to her why the mayor insisted, disastrously, that his city’s $61 million emergency command center be located in the World Trade Center despite the terrorist attack on the towers in 1993.Eh. If there's something there, roll it out. Let us see it. It's a 70-page complaint. Why aren't we seeing it?
Perhaps, too, they talked about the business ventures the mayor established after leaving office....
Who at the News Corporation supposedly asked Ms. Regan to lie to protect Rudy’s secrets? Her complaint does not say....
The Giuliani story, by contrast, is relatively virgin territory. And with the filing of a lawsuit by a vengeful eyewitness who was fired from her job, it may just have gained its own reincarnation of Linda Tripp.